KENNEWICK -- One of the keys to success isn't necessarily how many points you score on a given night, but how you respond to adversity.
The Kennewick boys basketball team responded well Saturday night to several different situations at the Lions Den, recording a 75-61 victory over Sunnyside to move into sole possession of second place in the CBBN 3A.
The Lions (11-3, 6-2) had to wonder how all the ice and snow -- and three full days away from the gym -- would affect their rhythm. They got their answer when Bryce Leavitt and Reggie Clinton combined for 45 points, punishing a Grizzlies team that beat them by a point in mid-December in Sunnyside.
"This was a game we wanted to win," Lions coach Bradyn Leyde said. "Bryce and Reggie have put so much into the program, a lot of extra time. This means a lot to them."
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Sunnyside (8-6, 3-5) used a couple of small runs to lead 16-15 after the first quarter, but Kennewick came out shooting against the Grizzlies' zone defense to open the second. Leavitt hit two 3-pointers and Clinton drained another during a 12-3 run that gave the Lions a 27-19 lead.
"No one got too flustered," Leavitt said. "We usually shoot well, but it always takes us awhile to get into a rhythm. We've got some great shooters."
Sunnyside wasn't going to just go away, however. Trey Serl hit a 3-pointer to pull the Grizzlies within 32-29 with 1:04 left in the first half. Serl and Israel Manzo each finished with 19 points.
But Clinton started off hot in the second half, draining two 3-pointers from the right corner during a 14-6 run to open the third quarter. That gave Kennewick a comfortable cushion at 48-35 with 4:48 left in the frame.
"They spread out in a zone, and Bryce just went to work. Domach Domach did a lot for us down low," said Clinton, who recorded his sixth consecutive game with 20 or more points.
"All the credit goes to my teammates," he said. "I don't get the shots if my team isn't working to get those.
"We did a great job on the boards tonight."
Kennewick outrebounded Sunnyside 34-23. Leavitt led all players with 12 rebounds.
The 6-foot-4 senior responded in a big way, too, after getting rejected by Grizzlies center Greg Spini on a drive in the lane. Leavitt went down hard, but he scooted back on defense to make a steal at halfcourt and convert a three-point play to push the lead to 57-45.
"That was a good moment for us," Leavitt said. "I didn't want to let the momentum shift their way. I got back up and saw an opportunity for a steal. We ruled the momentum from that point on."
Serl had 18 points through three quarters but had just one in the fourth. Manzo picked up the slack in the final quarter, scoring nine over the last 8 minutes. But Sunnyside missed six of its last eight shots over the final 3:40.
"You've got to play good basketball. The boys played hard. That's all you can ask," Grizzlies coach Ron Rowe said. "Rebounding was a big key. They got a couple big putbacks."
Domach added 16 points and six rebounds for the Lions. Eric Amaro chipped in 11 for Sunnyside, which shot 46 percent (24-for-52).
SUNNYSIDE -- Israel Manzo 19, Daley 5, Trey Serl 19, Amaro 11, Spini 5, Medina, Leija, Fernandez, Salmeron 2. Totals 24-52 8-16 61.
KENNEWICK -- Santiago 3, Clinton 20, Bryce Leavitt 25, Ramos, Domach 16, Pocasangre 4, Mueller 5, Smith 2. Totals 25-56 17-20 75.
Sunnyside 16 13 17 15 -- 61
Kennewick 15 19 26 15 -- 75
Highlights -- Rebounds: S 23 (Amaro 5), K 34 (Leavitt 12); 3-pointers: S 3 (Serl 2), K 8 (Clinton 4); Turnovers: S 6, K 4.